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Thread: Nitre-blue can anyone explain its use??

  1. #1

    Nitre-blue can anyone explain its use??

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    I see alot of damascus now is fire blue when I looked into it I found Nitre-blue referance.
    How is this done? The info says you heat the solution to 600 degrees .Wont that ruin the temper
    of any steel you use ? So can anyone explain the process and prep ?I really like the look but am not
    sure how its done. Also what prep is needed on the damascus before applying this product? Or am I
    looking at the wrong stuff? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    You heat the salts to 550-600F and immerse the blade or hardware in the molten salts. It is only in there for a few seconds, so it does not ruin the temper. The change is almost instant. Use a sturdy wire hook to dip the blade or fitting in and out.
    If held there longer than a minute it could soften things a bit. However, 1095 that was fully hardened will be at Rc 57-58 if held at a 600F temper for an hour. There is no real worry about temper embrittlement with niter bluing, as the soak is far too short ( and temper embrittlement is not really a knife issue).
    Stacy E.Apelt
    It is better to die fighting evil than to live under it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Lunenburg, NS, Canada
    About 3-4 months ago, I was all worried about tempering embrittlement. Turned out to be a non-issue... real... but there are much more prevalent ways to screw up a knife.

    As far as the bluing salts... I am not to educated on them. BUT I do know that I get an as-quenched hardnes of 65-66HRC with 1095 in HQK and tempering at 600F for 2hrs puts me down to 54-55HRC for digging/prospecting tools. That thin edge on your knives must be getting over tempered in a 600F bath... even if only for a minute or two.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Daniel J. Boorstin

    Rick Marchand
    ABS Apprentice Smith

    Follow me on Instagram: wildertools

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    aiea, hi
    I believe Brownells has a pdf for how to use their nitre blue salts that might answer your questions. I think Rick is right though and you may have to decide on some trade off between appearance and edge holding.

    Good luck with it, Craig

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    littlestown PA
    while i know that tempering temp/times can vary i would never subject a "plain" steel blade to those temps (fittings are whole different story )
    Lloyd Richard Harner III most people that know me just call me Butch

    L.R.Harner Knives
    If you're not going to do it right, don't do it.
    working mostly on kitchen knives and straight razors
    now also making balisongs

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